Living In A Rural Area: Relating With Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

1549 words - 6 pages

There are advantages and disadvantages to living in both urban and rural settings. I myself have spent about half of my life in both. The first 17 years of my life were spent in an area so desolate, that to this day there is no cell phone service there. Since I escaped, I went on to live in Portland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Maui and Chicago. The one difference I see the most, is that I miss the desolate place more as I get older. That might just be me missing my childhood though.

In Rebecca Skloot’s book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Henrietta spent her childhood in Clover, VA. Picking tobacco, and doing grunt work in the fields. Although, my childhood was MUCH different from that, in a weird way, I could relate. I spent my summer days as a kid, hand mowing a 5 acre lawn, and then raking it. The whole process took about 3-4 days, and by the time I was done, it was time to mow again. If I wasn't doing that, I was with my dad in his truck, driving on miles and miles of gravel logging roads to find wood to cut. We would be up in the mountains from sunup to sundown chopping wood, I hated it! I did all this for a meager $3 a week allowance. I also had to chop blackberry bushes, weed the gardens, and do other hard labor stuff, that every kid would probably hate.

Besides all my personal downfalls of living in the sticks, there are also inconveniences for everybody when you’re that deep. The fact that you have to drive forever to get anything. Our nearest real grocery store was 20 miles away, both my parents jobs were 20 miles away. Every time we had to hit Costco, or buy new clothes; 70 miles one way. There were no police or no firefighters. We had neighbors that were scattered over a few miles, but aside from our satellite dish, and our 80’s era rotary phone there was an overwhelming sense that we were all on our own.

There was an upside to living out there too. I would also spend a lot of time fishing, and swimming. We lived right on a river, that was perfect for all of that. Maybe the swimming hole was similar to the one in Clover, but I doubt it. The South and the Pacific NW are a world apart in stuff like that. I also got an old, green Honda 100 motorcycle for my 10th birthday. You know it was old, because Honda hasn’t made a green motorcycle in years. I put some serious miles on that thing, riding it all over those logging roads that I hated being on in my dads truck. Every Saturday, I’d ride my non-motorized bicycle 2 miles to the nearest “store” and spend my allowance on candy, and soda. I could eat and drink that stuff as much as I wanted. All the hard work I did, prevented me from becoming a fat kid. That came later in life.

Living in a rural area, is not the most popular place to live in the US, as a matter of fact, less and less people live in rural areas than ever. In 1980, 26% of the population lived in rural areas, by 2012, only 17%, and today 46.2 million people, or about 15% of the...

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